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Publication Date

Spring 2013

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


David Kahn


redhead, redheadedness

Subject Areas



This research explores redheadedness as a sign vehicle in Western theatre. Throughout history, redheads have been the carriers of stereotypes that make them targets for prejudice. This thesis collects and compiles data from various historic and contemporary sources and filters the information through a multi-faceted lens based on relevant theatre theories, to discover how this signifier pertains to the stage and affects performance. Techniques for looking at signs in theatre derived from semiotics and a casting method developed by The Non-Traditional Casting Project, are utilized to deconstruct the meaning held by the fascinating figure of the redhead.